Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming Home?

It does look like, ready or not, Dale will be coming home pretty soon. When I say ready or not I don't mean I haven't waited for this since he walked into St John's hospital November. It just means that we are both a little afraid. he is worried that in caring for him I will be injured and of course I am worried that I will hurt him. I have been doing some transfers and today we worked on transfers in and out of the car.

Over the last couple of days the glass doors have been removed from our shower and a curved shower rod has replaced them. There is a new spiffy shower head with both a regular shower head and a hand held piece. A less than elegant shower bench is in place. I have been fortunate that I was able to hire one of dale's aides to help us twice a week with showers and safe companionship so I can grocery shop and not leave him alone.

Dale is coming home without the feeding tube! I feel as if there should be a drum roll and fireworks. This is the result of a lot of hard work both by the patient and the patient. he is walking some with a cane and a lift and swing of his left hip. There is reason to believe that he will continue to improve.

I would just like to say that finding your way through the medical system for a loved one should not be so hard. There are days when it is difficult to get up and do it again. We are going through a time when promises are made and not kept, phone calls are often not answered or returned even when a promise is made. I cannot emphasize enough the necessity to be an advocate for the person you love. They often cannot advocate for them selves. Very early on I realized that I could not care whether an aide or administrator, nurse, etc. liked me. A plus if they do but not worth pussy footing around when you see a loved one transferred from a wheel chair to bed without a gate belt and with a hand in the armpit of the side paralyzed by a stroke. Fortunately, when the smoke cleared we found ourselves surrounded by personnel who care and who follow the rules.

Last but not least we have a daughter, son-in-law, and son who care deeply and help as much as they can. Kelly has tapped Family Medical Leave option and will spend a week helping her father and I settle into a vastly new routine. John is very supportive and generous in this, making it easy for us all. Danny has helped by accepting less personal attention than he is used to and beginning to treat Dad the way he always has, teasing, loving and with a little pestering going on. Every bit of this is pure love.

Thank you for reading what I write about my family. Know that I know our story is not unique, except to us. My wish for all is that you do not have to go through this kind of thing, but if you do or have I wish you well. It's a journey but worth the effort.